Abel Gonzales, who has achieved international fame as a repeat winner of the State Fair of Texas' Big Tex fried food award, now has his own restaurant. Called Republic Ranch, it's in soft-opening mode at 3121 Ross Ave., in a space that has seen a number of concepts open and close, such as Salt Lounge, Bungalow Beach Club, Southern Comforts, Ormsby Catering — oh, don't make us go through the list, it's too painful.
This is the first restaurant for Gonzales, but it's really an extension of his longtime catering business.
"I've been doing a lot of this food on the catering side, which has been headquartered in this very kitchen, so I know the space very well," he says. "Some of the previous tenants had DJs and a nightlife component that put them in a rough spot in the neighborhood. When I got the opportunity to take over the space, it seemed like a natural evolution."
Although Gonzales has made a name for himself as the king of kitschy fried foods — like fried butter — he grew up in the restaurant industry, working in the kitchen of his father's restaurant, A.J. Gonzales' Mexican Oven, in the West End. He has the chops, both in the kitchen and front of the house, as a charming and gregarious host.
Rather than fried foods, his menu at Republic Ranch spotlights two of Texas' favorite cuisines. "It's a blending of Mexican food and barbecue," Gonzales says. "It's what I've been doing in my catering work and I know people like it."
He's doing tacos with fillings such as rib-eye, chicken, and pulled pork.
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Grow your child’s reading skills this summer. Join Book Buddies at Audelia Road Library! Each weekly session encourages your child to continue reading by playing games and pairing them with a trained reading volunteer. Sessions are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 PM, June 13th through August 4th. Stop by to register your 2nd through 5th grader! If you have any additional questions, or are interested in becoming a volunteer, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Dallas can never get enough croissants, and now there's a new place baking them: Edith's Patisserie, a new bakery and bistro that opened on May 9 at Mockingbird Station, in the former Rockfish Seafood Grill space. If you want croissants, Edith's has them, in butter, almond, and chocolate varieties, plus desserts, sandwiches, and custom cakes.
Baked sweets include oatmeal cookies, colorful macarons, and pies, including pecan pie and a cool oatmeal pie, with a fudgey oatmeal center.
Before opening her shop at Mockingbird Station, founder Edith Ferreyro ran an at-home bakery business for 10 years, baking specialty cakes for friends and family. She quickly established a following for wedding cakes, and also baked desserts for restaurants.
After her son was hurt in a near-death accident, she says she became newly motivated to open a shop.
In addition to baked goods, Edith's is also a French-style bistro with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There is a tempting breakfast menu with scrambled eggs and baguette toasts; pain perdu with challah bread and vanilla ice cream shakshouka — eggs baked in spicy tomato beef stew with potatoes, carrots, and peas; fried chicken with Gruyere popovers and pancetta gravy; blueberry ricotta pancakes; spinach and cheddar omelet; and short rib hash with red potatoes, onions, white cheddar, and a sunny-side egg.
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With the mourning period for Good 2 Go Taco coming to a close, it's time to move on. Happily, there's something new going into its former East Dallas location: Hello Dumpling, an Asian restaurant specializing in dumplings, with an adjoining tea salon.
Owner June Chow is a second-generation Chinese-American who grew up in the Northeast in a family that owned restaurants.
"My mother is from northern China, and growing up, we ate dumplings," she says. "We've lived in East Dallas, and for some time, I've felt like there's a need for an interesting Asian restaurant in the neighborhood. I feel like the moment is now."
She not only wants to serve dumplings, but elevate their status as something to be taken more seriously than a mere appetizer.
"The basic concept is to serve home-made style dumplings," she says. "I'm going to have 8-10 varieties, the kind you would find in every great dumpling place in northern China. My idea is to show that dumplings are not just an appetizer, but in many cultures is part of your main meal."
Along with the dumplings, Chow says she'll do hand-cut noodles, a few Asian street foods, some tapas, salads, and sides. There'll also be a rotating dumpling every month.
"I want to make it so it's fresh and well made, but not pretentious," she says. "Just something tasty and affordable."
Construction is underway, with an estimated opening of early summer. She's transforming the space that previously housed Cultivar Coffee into a tea salon, with bobas and great teas of all kinds.
She likes the idea that she's picking up the mantle from a former taqueria. "In my mind, dumplings can be just like tacos, it's just another wrap with potential for great fillings," she says.
Article courtesy of Culture Map
Getting the grease
“Why can’t you just get along?”
I remember being posed this almost-but-not-quite rhetorical question when I served on the Dallas City Council. More than once. More than twice, actually, but who’s counting? It was usually when I was expressing an opinion about some proposed city project, and my opinion differed from the majority of the council.
When I was accused of “not getting along,” it wasn’t that I was banging my shoe on the lectern. Or shouting expletives into the City Hall mic. Or engaging in personal attacks or making up “facts” or otherwise flying off the handle. No, I had simply arrived at a different conclusion from my colleagues after independently researching an issue and listening to my constituents.
In Dallas, expressing an alternative viewpoint from the majority of the council – particularly one that is in opposition to the mayor – is oddly perceived as “not getting along.” It is considered impolite, a breach of etiquette. One is labeled a “maverick” at best, a less kind moniker at worst.
This was made clear to me during a council discussion about gas drilling in parks. In 2013, the city council was debating limits on urban gas drilling. Many residents were particularly concerned about fracking in city parks. Then-City Manager Mary Suhm and her staff had repeatedly assured the council that there would be no gas drilling in parks. Yet Councilmember Scott Griggs and I had uncovered a letter from Suhm in which she had simultaneously assured a gas drilling company that her staff would do their utmost to allow park drilling. So which was it?
During a council briefing, I took the opportunity to challenge Mary Suhm on these irreconcilable statements. I didn’t raise my voice. I presented the conflicting documents and pointedly asked Suhm, the city’s most powerful appointed official, to explain this chasm of a discrepancy.
I wasn’t surprised when Suhm dodged my questions. But I was surprised by the reaction of my colleagues. I expected them to be similarly outraged by the deceit, or at the very least, concerned. Instead, many of them expressed offense at my interrogation. (One even likened Suhm to Jesus Christ and me to Haman, the Biblical killer of Jews, but I suspect that even Suhm found that a smidge over the top.) Others were less theologically extravagant but nonetheless chastised me for my public questioning. It simply was not done. I half expected to be challenged to a duel.
Whether it was gas drilling, the Trinity Toll Road, convention center hotel financing, protecting neighborhoods from bad development, or a range of other issues, I remember the suggestion, at times posed by the city’s daily paper, that those of us who challenge the status quo or question the opinion of the majority should work harder to “get along.”
What they really mean, of course, is that we ought to work harder to go along to get along. Not rock the boat. Fall in line with the majority. Ask our tough questions behind closed doors, beyond the delicate ears of the public who might swoon at the unpleasant sound of intellectual debate.
The disturbing truth about those who wag their fingers and admonish council members to be nicer is that they fundamentally misunderstand both etiquette and politics. In the realm of politics, manners properly exist to discourage ad hominem attacks, to lower raised voices, and to enforce adherence to the civility of parliamentary procedure. Manners do not, however, mandate a blind acceptance of bad governance, nor do they insist on ideological unanimity.
Glad-handing and back-slapping aren’t going to fix Dallas’s very real problems. Something to keep in mind when you head to the polls on May 6.
Article courtesy of the Lakewood Advocate
Dallas can say goodbye to the idea of the rotating restaurant. Kitchen LTO will now become Junction Craft Kitchen and will open on May 4 in the old Kitchen LTO space in Deep Ellum, at 2901 Elm St.
Casie Caldwell and chef Josh Harmon have partnered to open the new restaurant serving dinner and weekend brunch.
Kitchen LTO was in its seventh iteration with Caldwell's seasoned front-of-house team supporting chef Harmon. The collaboration worked so well that they decided to make it a permanent thing, Caldwell says.
"I knew in the first week of opening Deep Ellum that I wanted to find a way to help Josh have a permanent restaurant space when he left LTO," she says in a release. "We decided to keep this great location and bid farewell to LTO. Junction Craft Kitchen was then born."
Capturing Harmon's love of Southern and Asian cooking, Junction Craft Kitchen will serve many of the dishes that were served at Kitchen LTO. We are talking Brussels sprouts with fish sauce caramel, hot fried chicken, and Korean sticky duck leg.
New dishes include Korean braised beef, boudin po bao, and family-style miso pork belly with steamed buns. An arugula salad sounds good with radish, peanut butter Ritz, peas, and peri peri. There's a poached carrot dish with an elaborate retinue that includes whey and koji, carrot top kosho, and dehydrated okra.
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Wynne McNabb Cunningham